The Mountain Fund

The mission of The Mountain Fund is to eliminate poverty, its causes and symptoms, in developing mountain communities around the world.
Nov 12, 2016

Podcasting about Women from Her Farm

The women of Her Farm Nepal have had a keen interest in podcasting, photography and filmmaking for some time. Recently we set up a studio at Her Farm to encourage them to explore these interests more fully. We’ve just completed our first full podcast from the village. A young Nepali woman named Belmaya has been learning video and photo skills with assistance from a woman from the UK. Belmaya visited Her Farm to see our studio and talk with the women of Her Farm about creating podcasts, videos and photos. Sushila sat down with Belmaya in the studio and conducted a 16 minute long interview about the challenges that Belmaya, as a married woman with a child, has faced in trying to produce her first video. The link attached to this report is the audio of that interview. It’s recorded in Nepali language. At the same time Sushila was conducting the interview, Namuna and Laxcha were filming it on two different cameras. The girls are now learning how to edit that video and we will update this report soon with the video of the interview. 

Links:

Aug 26, 2016

First and only Emergency Preparedness Center in Dhading

Steel Rebar Unloaded
Steel Rebar Unloaded

Ground has been broken on the Dhading District's first and only disaster relief center. In fact we're only aware of one other such facility in the entire country of Nepal. In the past year and half, work has been progressing slowly throughout Nepal to recover from the massive 2015 quakes. Meanwhile at various locations in Nepal there have been huge landslides and severe flooding. No where are there Emgergency Preparedness Shelters equipped to assist people in times of trouble nor are there command and control centers to help villages organize in disasters. 

We're building a complete center to serve the villages surrounding Her Farm. When complete the center will have a medical clinic, small medical lab to support the clinic, a tailoring center to make clothing for disaster victims, 10,000 gallons of freshwater supply, sleeping area for up to 150 people, kitchen capable of feeding 150 people a day, solar and other backup power systems, multiple toilets, a local FM radio to disseminate news throughout the local communities and trained staff to manage everything.  

We have trained one girl as a nurse who is now on duty at Her Farm and we have two other local girls from the village in training, one to be a nurse assistant and one as a lab technician. In addition we have others from the village in training as veterinary technicain to care for any injured livestock and agricultural technician to oversee and assist with farm recovery efforts following disasters. We have one woman on the staff fully trained in FM radio operation and we are training other women in photography and videography to mobilize as field observers for disasters. 

There is nothing else like this anywhere in Nepal. The building itself is paid for thanks to donors. We are now seeking help for beds, blankets, huge pots and pans to prepare large quantities of food, bowls and cups, stainless steel food prep tables and kitchen utensils as well as medical lab equipment and FM radio equipment. 

Estimated completion of construction with be in 6 months. 

Main Collumns Being Excavated by Hand
Main Collumns Being Excavated by Hand
Aug 15, 2016

Toilets, Schools, Disaster Center and Radio Towers

Biogass tank for school toilet
Biogass tank for school toilet

Rebuilding things in Nepal takes a very long time. The GoN has only provided relief to a handful of families, though we've provided nearly $50,000 to families in our area for rebuilding, many will not move ahead sans government funding. 

The planned disaster center is moving ahead thanks to a generous donor.  In Nepal, there isn't a system of "safe places" that are stocked and ready to take in those impacted by quakes, landslides or other natural disasters such as we have in the West. There isn't a disaster response agency, emergency radio network or designated gathering place. There soon will be at Her Farm. We are about to start construction on a 5000sf facility that will house a medical clinic, small medical lab, food supplies, tailor and clothmaking shop and provide room for 150 people to live in times of disaster.

The disaster center will have solar and battery back up systems for power, water and food stores and even a community FM radio station (owned and operated by the women of Her Farm, of course) to disseminate critical information to the villages served. While funding for the building of the disaster center has been secured. Funding for cots, cooking equipment, blankets, emergency food stocks and for the radio station has not been secured so we are counting on all of you at GlobalGiving to lend a hand and help us create one of the very few disaster preparedness centers in Nepal. 

The local school was damaged but we do not have any funds to enable us to offer to rebuild it. The damaged school is still being used, though it is flagged by the government as unsafe. There isn't any alternative at the moment but to use the school even in it's present condition. The land the school sits on is too small to construct any temporary classrooms on. We are negotiating a land-swap with a family in the village who owns land that adjoins the school grounds. We own a nice piece of farmland, with a good house, not far from the school If we are succesful in trading that for the land that adjoins the school we can construct some temporary classrooms and move out of the condemed school house. Then, whenever we can find funds we can get that condemned school rebuilt. If the landowner will not trade properties with us we will have to wait until the disaster preparedness center is built, then perhaps we can shift classes there temporarily while the current schoolhouse is knocked down and rebuilt. 

 

We are moving ahead with rebuilding the toilets at the school and including a biogas design that will capture methane gas for use with a stove burner. That will allow the school to boil water for safe drinking water. 

Biogas system
Biogas system
Her Farm women prepare for disaster radio station
Her Farm women prepare for disaster radio station
 
   

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